Ricky Schwartz: On That Field We Are All Teammates

W680 ricky schwartz broad jump The D10 Athlete Profile explores what brings competitors to The D10 playing field...and what they bring away from it. 

Ricky Schwartz
Senior Portfolio Analyst, Angel Oak Capital
The D10 NYC
Fundraising goal: Individual (20K)
2019 Marquee event: Broad Jump (Goal: 8 ft. 4 in.)

How much of your motivation for participating in The D10 stems from its charitable mission?
The D10 does a great job of fusing charitable contribution, fitness, and community into a year-round experience culminating with a celebration in June. I love competition. It’s great to feel like a real athlete and have an opportunity to show out against some of the best fitness minded young professionals in NYC.

Despite my competitive nature, I’m cheering for everyone to outperform their goals. On that field, we are all teammates battling to raise money in the fight against cancer. My motivation is knowing that my effort directly supports kids and families facing immense challenges. I hope to give them time and the opportunity to enjoy life in the same manner I've been afforded.

How did you first get involved in The D10?
My grandfather passed in 2016 after a fight with bladder cancer while battling through many other challenges as he progressed into his 80s. He never lost the ambition to work out on his own. Despite losing his vision, Larry would figure out ways to set up the weight machine by feeling each peg hole. He'd call me to say he went up another plate.

When I would visit, we would train together. Even while receiving chemo and radiation treatments and being told not to go to the gym, he pressed on. Almost 30 years prior to that, before I was even born, my grandfather lost a child to a rare form of cancer. His son Robby received treatment at Sloan Kettering in the 1980s. Larry and my grandmother used to actively fundraise on Robby’s behalf and had set up and endowment in his name. 
As time went on, an annual fundraising event became difficult to maintain. After Larry passed, I wanted to compete for him and Robby. I wanted to carry my family’s tradition of contributing to MSK. The D10 seemed like a perfect match. I signed up in 2017 and have never looked back.  

Thumb ricky schwartz pull ups
Last year Ricky tied for first place in the Vertical Jump and earned a spot in the 10K Fundraising Club. Quite a double honors.

How has The D10 been different from your collegiate or high school sports experiences in terms of training and motivation?
Despite always loving sports, I wasn’t a great athlete in high school. I played lacrosse growing up and on the club team at the University of Maryland. It wasn’t until needing an outlet from professional life that I truly committed to fitness training. As I continue to get older, I’ve learned to train smartly and efficiently and to fuel right with proper nutrition. This isn't all about training hard. I need to maximize the return on my time spent in the gym so I can prioritize an ever increasing list of both personal and professional responsibilities as I continue to grow in all facets of life.

In what ways has your participation in The D10 affected or enhanced your performance at work?
The two go hand in hand for me. I continue to push my limits and expand my knowledge base on a daily basis both in the gym and on the trading floor. Without focus and proper prioritization at work, I can’t get to the gym. Without an outlet in the gym, I can’t lock in at work.

A co-worker of mine once told a group of college students, "On a daily basis, I would describe what I do professionally as running sprints. I have a few minutes to pursue an opportunity, stress it using my accumulated bank of knowledge, and figure out if it fits in the context of our big picture game plan, which is a moving target. I repeat that maybe about 50 times a day and may end up with between 0-4 successful runs."

Training for any of The D10 events on game day is very similar.

Have you made new lasting friendships, or strengthened your professional network, as a result of your D10 experience?
Absolutely. I’m constantly inspired by the time and effort The D10 community puts into training and fundraising while balancing professional life. Most of the men and women I’ve met are better athletes than I am so it has been rewarding to have the opportunity to stand on the same field with them. Any support I get from The D10 friends helps to push through the challenge of training solo in Atlanta. I’m excited to watch this community continue to grow and reach new heights. I can’t wait to see you all in NYC on June 9th.

Ricky is one of The D10's top fundraisers on behalf of pediatric cancer research. Help him reach even higher on behalf of the children at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center with a performance donation to his 2019 charity campaign